I have my two mains (don’t laugh) to 85 now, and decently geared: Tala has been raiding, and Eilonwyn good enough for heroics and maybe a Baradin Hold. Tala is discipline healer main spec, and shadow off-spec; while Eilonwyn is arcane and frost.
Earlier this week, I realized exactly what kind of play style suits me. Planning suits me. Pre-strategizing fights and what I do in them suits me. That’s now evident in the specs and type of play I like: I prefer PVE to PVP because I like being able to plan what to do and when, discipline healing is basically “pre-healing” by mitigating and absorbing damage, and arcane play style relies a lot on how well you plan and sync up your burn phases.
This realization came about due to two things:
First, I ended up raiding at 5fps, because we had no healer cover for that night, and I did not realize that the Mumble overlays were wreaking havoc on my FPS (I realized after the raid. GG). I have never been more thankful of my mitigation that night: blind shielding+hasted Prayer of Healing can just about make it, although it won’t get one very far (overshooting mouse turns and running past stack points will get you killed, folks).
Second, I bit the bullet and changed Eilonwyn’s secondary spec to fire, because the number of frost instants just isn’t ideal for my latency. Initially, I thought that maybe since I was doing alright with my shadow priest spec, I can go fire now with its DOTs and all and work that out–right? WRONG.
It’s not like shadow priest dots, where you refresh them just before they run out, and cast other stuff on cooldown. I was even better with the mage frost spell priority, with its multiple instants; the problem I was having with fire is, how to align the goddamn DOTs for Combustion, y0. I set up my auras and everything, and I know I just need a bit more muscle memory to get it all down pat, but when you finally get the insta-Pyroblast and have the dot up there, Ignite or Living Bomb or freaking both might be down to, what, 2 seconds before they run out, but you need to hit combustion now now now!!. *dies*
Arcane is great for me. Arcane rewards the prepared: knowing when the best time to burn is, shifting your rotation according to your mana levels. It sucks for mobile fights, though, totally. Can we get Firestarter for arcane, please? On the move but hit less, maybe? Kthxbye.
So what now?
I’m a big believer in enjoying the game. It’s a game, you should play the way it’s fun for you. No one should ever feel forced to raid if they don’t feel like it, just because it’s “expected” of them. In the same way, I don’t want to play a spec I get a lot of frustration from (I think I’m a bit too obsessive-compulsive to hit Combustion while all three dots are not up). Sadly, arcane is the weakest mage DPS spec at the moment, and I don’t feel comfortable asking for a raid spot when I’m going with the weakest DPS spec. I know that arcane still puts out well for certain fights…but those fights are a minority. :/